The CSF’s Disciplinary Committee has jurisdiction over every written complaint made against a representative by the syndic or a third party for any violation of a provision of the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services, the Securities Act or any of their regulations. It has jurisdiction to rule on complaints made against representatives in insurance of persons, in group insurance of persons, in financial planning, in group savings plan brokerage and in scholarship plan brokerage.
The disciplinary process usually unfolds as follows:
- Following an inquiry, the syndic (or any other person) files a written complaint with the Disciplinary Committee.
- The secretary of the Committee serves the complaint on the representative.
- The representative appears in writing or through a lawyer and pleads guilty or not guilty to the charge(s) set out in the complaint.
- If the representative pleads guilty, the Committee usually holds a single hearing dealing with the representative’s guilt and sentencing.
- If the representative pleads not guilty, the Committee holds a hearing to hear the evidence of the parties.
- At this hearing, the syndic has the burden of proving the representative’s guilt in accordance with the applicable rules of evidence.
- After the hearing is complete and the Committee has finished its deliberations, it provides a written decision in which it states its reasons.
- If the representative is convicted, a subsequent hearing is held to determine the appropriate sanctions.
- The Committee can impose one or more of the sanctions provided for in the Professional Code and the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services for each charge contained in the complaint:
- A reprimand;
- A fine ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 for each charge;
- A temporary or permanent striking off the roll;
- A suspension of the certificate and registration;
- The obligation to remit to any person entitled to it a sum of money the representative is or should be holding for him.
- The Committee can also order the representative to pay the disbursements and order the publication of the decision in a newspaper having general circulation in the place where the representative has his professional domicile or in any other place where the representative has practised or could practise.
- The Committee’s decision can also include a recommendation to the Board of Directors of the CSF to require the representative to successfully complete a period of refresher training or a refresher course.
- Lastly, the Committee’s decision can be appealed before the Court of Québec within 30 days of the date it was rendered.